The Guildhall School of Music & Drama has a great-looking blog going for their technical theatre departments. This post has a lot of photographs of their work in progress for their current round of shows, but check out the whole thing for some inspiration.
The production designer for BBC’s What Remains has a behind-the-scenes look at the design, construction and dressing of many of the sets. It is a bit more focused on the scenery rather than the props, but it has a ton of photographs; I mean, if you printed out all the photos, they would actually weigh one ton. She gives a look at not just the construction and final product, but also the design inspiration that went into it.
An interesting story has come out of the filming for the new Star Wars film. The producers have reached out to the R2-D2 fan building community, and are using a fan-built R2-D2 in the film. Why have your prop shop build a new one when you have fans who have already constructed several?
Hey, try some super-fast and super-cheap casting by using hot-melt guns. This blog post steps through the whole process, from sculpting, to plaster molding, to casting and painting.
Things continue chugging along here. King Lear began previews. I’m furiously preparing the first four chapters of The Prop Building Guidebook to submit to my publisher at the end of the month. Yet I still have time to find fun things on the internet.
Here’s an interesting story on how a film prop (technically, a mask) became a real-life prop used in protests around the world. This article on the V for Vendetta masks shows who is behind them and how this all came about.
Christopher Schwartz, former editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine and current founder of Lost Art Press, has published 14 principles of shop setup which he has developed over 20 years of woodworking.
In the same vein, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of Mythbusters’ fame have 15 DIY Workshop Tips, including an ingenious nesting work table and indispensable tools to have.
In our current production of King Lear, we needed to provide them with a paper bag. Not just any paper bag. Only a specific size would do. I eventually found a place online we could order a close-enough size, provided we cut a few inches off the top. So I thought this history of the paper bag posted on the MoMA site was particularly apropos to the situation.
I don’t mean to nerd out, but did you know there’s a whole club of people who build R2-D2 replicas? I haven’t signed up to view the forums, but you can still browse the galleries, and read a few issues of the online magazine they publish.